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I’m really excited that we will be hosting The Summit: A Convergence of Small Group Experts.  This an event that might be the first time in history these amazing small group leaders have been on the same stage!!  To make it even better, it’s online so you can participate no matter where you live and it’s FREE.  Our very own Rick Howerton will be moderating this Town Hall styled forum and discussing the history, trends, and future of small group ministry.  We are taking questions so you will have a chance to present any issue you are dealing with to the architects of the modern small group movement and hear them respond and provide solutions they’ve seen work in churches all over the world.

The speakers are 9 of today’s most well-known leaders in small group ministry and the next generation’s rising stars – Lyman Coleman Bill Donahue, Steve Gladen, Randall Neighbour, Carl George, Bill Search, Reid Smith, Greg Bowman, and Eddie Mosley

Be sure to register and plan on taking part in this amazing experience.  If you are a ministry leader, forward the information to all your group members so they can get answers to some of their most pressing questions too!

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I am a Twitterer.  I tweet therefore I am…

1) instantly alerted to new small group blogposts

2) learning of and connecting with other small group types not daily but minute by minute

3) constantly receiving info telling me of a new small group book that has been published, a small group conference that has just been announced or a concept that a small group peer just thought of

4) asking a question and getting multiple answers back within minutes from other small group pastors and gurus

If you’ve been considering twittering but have been saying things like, “I’ll go into that kickin’ and screamin.” it’s time to put on your steel-toed boots and enter a sound-proof room. Or maybe your phrase has been, “I’ll start twittering when I become one of those nerdy tech types.” Buy an iPhone, replace your PC with a Mac and get a t-shirt that announces, “I Tweet.”   Or maybe you’ve been saying, “When I have time I’ll join the twitter movement.” You may find out, like I have, that being a twitterer may save you time as you are constantly getting the answers to your questions (or being directed to a blogpost or article that can) in 140 characters instead of having to read an entire book.

Because I long to learn from everyone doing good small group ministry, I am constantly working to build my small group tweep list. Below you’ll find 48 small group pastors and gurus that I am connecting with through Twitter. If you’re the small group point person for your church and you don’t see your name (these are in alphabetical order) and you twitter, please, oh please send me your twitter account name so I can follow you by responding to this blogpost. Another option…. go online and follow me (rickhowerton). When I get your request to follow my tweets I’ll choose to follow you.

Feel free to use this list to build your own. I think every person on this list would be honored if you join this network of gifted small group aficionados.

@adamworkman

@AlviRadjagukguk

@AlanDanielson

@allenwhite

@bdonahue80

@benreed

@BrettEastman

@carybranscum

@chiapperino

@colonkevin

@DaveTreat

@DavidBuckner

@DavidLermy

@deantwan

@doyleBrookshire

@Eddiecberry

@eddiemosley

@ericdunaway

@gary4n

@gatortodd

@gregmbowman

@heatherzempel

@HerschelT

@Huddude

@JBBRAUN

@jimbotts

@jimmeldrim

@joelcomiskey

@johncatkinson

@johnratz

@JoshSurratt

@kedamak

@maclake

@marcharvey

@markchowell

@MattWHarmer

@mbstockdale

@micmac1900

@mscottboren

@pkspratt

@reid_smith

@RGNeighbour

@RicDiefenderfer

@scottim

@ScottWilliams

@secondchair

@SteveGladen

@timweems

Blogging offers the Small Groups Minister an amazing opportunity to connect with her/his small group leaders.

  1. It’s a way to communicate information on an ongoing basis. In fact, instantly. (If your group leaders “subscribe,” each time you post they will receive an e-mail.
  2. A blog allows you to personalize training. Your leaders can go to other blogs and websites but, when they see your picture and see words written by you (or a video of you or a visual you’ve chosen to download and imbed in your blogpost, etc…) someone they know and respect, they are much more prone to consider the information. 3) A blog gives you the opportunity to infuse your leaders with ideas daily which will help to create a small group environment, not just a small group ministry.

One of my closest friends is the small groups pastor at First Baptist Church, Smyrna, Tennessee, Eddie Mosley. He’s our guest blogger today. Check out one of his posts. He created this specifically for the small group leaders at his church.:

We have all been there. in life, in sports, in career, in relationships, we all move through this process. When we are new to something, most (not all, there are those risky jumpers who take life by the horns and run. :-)) but most of us step slowly and move in a little deeper as time goes by….that is the subject for today… how to develop someone to take your place in ministry. Saddleback includes this idea in their training series ”Don’t Lead Alone”

We have put together a 3 minute video to help you understand how to implement the Crawl-Walk-Run


I learned this apprenticing thing long ago from a man named Peddidle Kelly. Peddidle was my first manager when I was in retail. He taught me things like: lack of communication causes wars and always try to work yourself out of a job because one day you will want to move on and someone here needs to know what you know. Little did I know that 30 years later my ministry position would live or die on his words – apprentice and communicate!!!

Who are you apprenticing? Why not try these three simple steps over the next two or three months?

Eddie is a fantastic trainer (he’ll be leading sessions at all four Saddleback Small Group Conferences in 2009) and is also an outstanding church consultant. You may want to give him a call.
Creating a blog is not hard to do. Just go to www.wordpress.com. It will walk you through the process. If you’re like me and it’s a bit more challenging for you, just ask a teenager in your church to help you out. They’ll have you up and running in just a few hours. And it’s FREE!!!